Earlier in the year in January, Gundam Factory Yokohama made the announcement the facility would be extending its operations by one year until March 31, 2023. The moving Gundam attraction was initially to shutter March 31, 2022. With the extension, the RX-78F00 Gundam was announced to have an approximate two month maintenance period, the facility will be closed from May 9 to July 15.
The decision to extend operations was made after discussions with the city of Yokohama and other related parties in response to the passionate requests of fans in Japan and overseas who were unable to visit the venue due to travel restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic and state of emergency declarations in Japan.
The “Gundam Global Project” began as an ambitious project to realize the dream of creating a life size, 18m tall RX-78-2 Gundam that moves, the Gundam would later be dubbed RX-78F00 Gundam.With the tagline “Challenge the dream: When Gundam moves, the world moves.”, the project launched in 2014 but was stalled due to complications. In 2018, the project was revived for the Gundam 40th Anniversary.
The project was overseen by staff members from the realms of anime and film production to robotics and engineering. Masaki Kawahara, who’s helmed the creation of the previous Gundam statues, served as project manager. The Gundam utilizes a steel frame with a carbon resin exterior, powered by electrical actuators, and relies on Asratec Corp’s “V-Sido” operating system to generate motion.
The Gundam Factory Yokohama opened December 2020 at Yokohama’s Yamashita Pier as an amusement facility showcasing the moving 18m RX-78F00 Gundam statue. The facility consists of Gundam-Dock Tower, which allows visitors to see the Gundam much closer and Gundam Lab, a two story building featuring event spaces to learn about the statue’s design, structures and mechanisms through talk shows, lectures, research presentations and workshops. The Lab includes the Gundam Pilot View SoftBank 5G Experience, a VR dome that simulates a real time Gundam piloting experience from the cockpit using 5G technology courtesy of SoftBank. Located within the Gundam Lab is its own satellite Gundam Cafe and The Gundam Base with have their own unique menu and limited edition merchandise.
Also in December 2020, the RX-78F00 became the “Largest mobile humanoid robot” and “Largest mobile Gundam” in the Guinness World Records.
Source: Gundam Info